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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

Growing our membership to increase our service

May 2013Vol 4, Issue 6


Pres Bev at 2013 Awards LuncheonTo repeat myself from our last  meeting, I am very proud to be President of SILA because of the wonderful representation of the Club at the Camino Real Region Spring Conference in Ventura. Sheila Tatum served as Conference Coordinator and did a wonderful job.  Ginger Cole did an excellent job as Camino Real Region Secretary.  Barbara Jury, with help from Joyce Jacob, planned and directed the Saturday morning Memorial breakfast. Carole Oglesby, Regional Chair for International Goodwill and Understanding, made a presentation on the 2013UN Commission on the Status of Women at the Governor's Luncheon.  Also, Regional Girl Scout Partnership Committee Chair, Jessica Washington, was a co-presenter at break-out session on "Soroptimists and Girl Scouts-A Perfect Partnership". Our Joyce Jacob was elected to the Regional Nominating Committee for District 2, for 2013 - 2014.  Barbara, Jessica and I served as SILA voting members. In addition Carole, Diane, Ginger, Jessica, Joyce, Pam, Teresa and I attended the Leadership Training Academy.  Last but by far not least, GEM Barbara was recognized for her 45 years of membership.  SILA also presented her with a large bouquet of red roses in honor of her accomplishments. We came home with a lovely recognition of our accomplishments of the Governor's Club Award. We also had three other members registered but had problems that prevented their attendance.  That is a great percentage of our small group!


I came home with four major Conference themes: increase membership, make Soroptimist our charity of choice, all projects need to meet Soroptimist goals, and join "Live your Dream" and encourage friends and family to do the same. I got some good information from the President's session and another session about attracting and retaining women in the connection generation.


As we move toward the end of the year we look forward to our day of service at the Downtown Women's Center, our final business meeting and the Installation of Officers Dinner. Let's finish with strong support and then look to the Summer Retreat to make our plans for the 2013-14 year.


President Bev

In This Issue
Save the Date(s)
Annual Awards Luncheon
Alexis Dehghani Honored as VRA Winner
Past and Present Fellowship Winners Honored
What' the Purpose of "Live Your Dream"?
Quick Links

2012-2013 Board


President: Bev Johnson
1st VP (Programs): Joyce Jacob
2nd VP (W&M): Jessica Washington
Secretary: Daphyne Howell
Treasurer: Janet Elliott/Teresa Harvey
Director 2011-13: Joan Johnson
Director 2012-14: Diane Vernon
Contact Information


For more information about SILA or this Newsletter, please contact:


President Bev Johnson at or 818-563-3775.
Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438; Co-Editor Ann Read at or 626-919-9202

Save the Date(s)


Calendar MonthsWednesday, May 15, NOON at Taix Restaurant: Program Meeting: More on the UN - What Can We Do? by Carole Oglesby, SILA and CRR International Good Will and Understanding Chair


Wednesday, June 5, 6pm at Taix Restaurant: Business Meeting


Saturday, June 8, Downtown Women's Center: Day of Service - Come help make and serve breakfast for 100 homeless women!


Wednesday, June 19, 6pm at Los Angeles Athletic Club: Installation Dinner 


Annual Awards Luncheon                                                  by Julie Mairs

Picture it... Los Angeles Athletic Club, April 6, 2013, 7:15am.  A groggy Soroptimist, dressed for physical labor, exits the elevator onto the third floor to see how well the eating and reception rooms have recovered from the BIG wedding party given there the night before. 

Our determined Soroptimist discovers a staff of six LAAC staff working to reconstruct the dining area to accommodate the close to 200 guests that SILA expects to arrive at 11AM.  Their next target will be to set up the silent auction tables in the reception area.

It is hard to over look the ample evidence of human use of the room the night before.  Wild patterns of fingerprints adorned the mirrors in the silent auction area.  The surfaces of the brass hand rails were an odd combination of bumpy and sticky.  The bathroom paper supply was low.  The reception table from the night before showed signs of use and maybe some misuse.... (read more). 

Ruby Awardee Vickie Kropenske
2013 Ruby Awardee Vickie Kropenske, Director, Hope Street Family Center, with Jorge Alonzo, Dr. Janet Bonilla, and SILA President Bev Johnson


SILA Members at 2013 Awards Luncheon
SILA Members in attendance at Awards Luncheon: Top row (L to R) Daphyne Howell, Ginger Cole, Teresa Harvey, DeAnna Blaylock, Carol Dukes, Pam Smith, Julie Mairs, Sheila Tatum, Ann Read. Front row (L to R) Diane Vernon, Jeri Durham, Karen Johnson, Jessica Washington, Bev Johnson, Joyce Jacob, Barbara Jury, Joan Johnson


Alexis Dehghani Honored as VRA Winner

VRA Winner Alexis Dehghani
SILA was proud to recognize Alexis Dehghani as the 2013 recipient of the Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award. This award recognizes a high school senior for her community service and awards the student with a check for $500, with another $500 going to the charity of her choice. Alexis was honored for her volunteer work at the Little Tokyo Service Center in Los Angeles.

VRA Awarded by Jessica WashingtonShe collected and delivered a large donation of clothing, books, and toys for victims of domestic violence and their families, and created a system by which Little Tokyo Service Center and the domestic violence shelter they support will be able to keep all future donations organized. She also spread awareness about domestic violence by talking with family, friends and community members about the prevalence and impact of domestic violence through a pamphlet and presentation she created.


SILA VRA Chair Jessica Washington presenting Alexis and Vivian Lee from the Little Tokyo Service Center with their awards with great praise for Alexis's outstanding community service.

Past and Present Fellowship Winners Honored                                   


SILA was pleased to honor Alexandra Havard as SILA's 2013 Graduate Fellowship Award winner and to welcome several former winners as guests at the Award Luncheon.


The Graduate Fellowship Award is a $3,500 cash award given to a local woman graduate student who, through community service and her career choice, is likely to make a difference for women and girls.


2013 Fellowship Winner Alex HavardAlex is a 3rd year medical student at UCLA. Recognizing the impact of teen pregnancy as a public health issue, she "fell in love with the prospect of Ob/Gyn as a profession ... and the impact she could make by working with and counseling teenagers in this area."


Alex was unable to attend the Luncheon because there was a family health emergency--someone in Colorado was having heart surgery and the family really wanted their emerging physician to be there. Fortunately, the surgery turned out well.


Since she couldn't be at the Luncheon, she made a CD which was played at the luncheon and she attended the next SILA meeting in order to meet SILA members in person.


Three former Fellowship Award winners, Marci Boswell, Elizabeth Goodhue and Margarita Gonzalez, were able to attend the Luncheon. Fellowship Chair Joan Johnson heard from several other former winners. Joan read the response she got from Dr. Angelyn Konugres, the 1956 winner, at the luncheon. To read about the lasting impact the Fellowship Award had on a highly accomplished woman, now retired, bonding with her 3 year old grandson, and taking classes ("Oh, the joy of studying for pleasure!") at the University of Colorado, click here.

What's the Purpose of "Live Your Dream"?                                  

Live Your Dream logo


Question of the month: Is the main purpose of Live Your Dream to help SIA attract younger members?


Answer: Live Your Dream exists to increase awareness of our programs, and enable people--no matter their age--to engage in the Soroptimist mission. It appeals to people who may not be attracted to the club model, but want to support the soroptimist mission in some way. Live Your Dream is for those looking to do social media activism and advocacy, and/or community outreach. Finally, this platform offers a way for people to support Soroptimist programs financially. It is open to anyone--young, old and in between--interested in supporting SIA's mission. 



All About Us: Live Your
All About Us: Live Your


Read more about Live Your Dream and other Soroptimist news in the May edition of SIA's newsletter, Soroptimist Summary.